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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided tips - level-up, earn EXP, hacking, unlock skills and more


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided tips for new and returning players - things you may miss

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is another solid release from Eidos Montreal, doing a great job of combining stealth-shooter action and RPG mechanics. Did you like the previous Deus Ex game? This is more of that, but better. That's hard to complain about.

There are some new features in the game that might be something of a surprise to returning players. A few of them such as crafting and the way story choices play out that you might not have expected. Deus Ex is more finite than many other RPGs by design, and so your choice of abilities is more important than in many other games.

We've gathered a few top tips for new and returning players. After finishing our first playthrough, here's the things we think every Deus Ex: Mankind Divided player should know.


Decide how you want to play Adam early on

Playing Deus Ex boils down to one of two 'modes' - Lethal or Non-lethal.

The path you want to play will determine almost everything about how you play: what weapons you need, what augments you upgrade, and how you spend your cash. This is all vital.

Deus Ex is ultimately an RPG, and it's about choice. It's recommended you make a strong decision on how you want to play from the very moment you press New Game. If you waste cash or Praxis Points on skills that you later won't use, you'll have wasted those resources.

Which sounds better to you? Running and gunning, or stealth-based antics, crawling through air vents and taking out enemies silently? Both will broadly speaking reward similar amounts of EXP, so pick that which sounds more fun to you - then spend the game buying skills and building towards that. Because Deus Ex is a more compact and finite RPG experience, you won't have the opportunity to grind for experience forever to unlock absolutely everything.

Don't waste experience on things you won't use regularly, and remember that every single part of the game can be played either way - even when you encounter bosses, you can take them down non-lethally.

There's also an achievement for playing the entire game without a kill, if you're so inclined.


Understand the game's level-up mechanics

Modern Deus Ex has some pretty interesting experience point and level-up systems behind-the-scenes. The experience rewards have been designed so that no one play style is rewarded more than another.

A guns-blazing approach will net you experience for kills, for instance, but a pure stealth approach without any takedowns will reward you in the form of bonus experience for stealth and experience for exploring off the beaten path by crawling through air vents and so on.

If you want to maximize experience sometimes you can mix the best of both worlds - sneak to gain exploration experience, then silently take down enemies for bits of bonus experience there.

Hacking is also almost always worthwhile - even if you're not so interested in reading Deus Ex's (frankly awesome) backstory that crops up in emails, every unimportant story terminal will also offer experience for hacking it and reading its contents.

Generally you should keep an eye on the middle-top of the screen to see what you're earning experience for. Try to embrace abusing the EXP system a little - find the things you're good at that offer experience and then do it every single time you can - even if you don't need to.


If hacking, be thorough

Hacking is a key gameplay mechanic in Mankind Divided. Security on terminals is rated from 1 up to 5, and the higher the level the more difficult it is to hack them undetected.

There are several items that'll help out hacking in the form of viruses. These can be used to more efficiently hack more difficult terminals. These items can be found in a particular store in Prague, but also can be found out in the world.

The best way to gain new viruses is actually through hacking, though. On easier terminals where you're less likely to be detected, look out for nodes marked 'transfer', or nodes that look a little like a cache. Unlocking these before hitting the green goal of the hacking mini game will often transfer you credits or a useful hacking item that can be used on the more difficult terminals.

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Augment Skill unlocks and Overloading

The game starts you off with a nice little tease of what a powered-up Adam looks like, then an unfortunate series of events ensures he's stripped of those powers. This is good for you, though: It means levelling up and recrafting Adam's skill set the way you want it.

Most of the skills in Adam's skill tree are the ones from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Some aren't, however, and these are obvious: they're covered in a static-like animation, and the game will explain to you when they're first offered to you how these skills work and the danger they present.

Unlocking one of these skills will Overload Adam's augment systems, and so in order to balance it out you'll have to permanently deactivate another one of the new augments. These skills are some of the most powerful in the game, so you'll want to get to unlocking them.

This is where the point we made in the previous slide is driven home: it's important to decide how you're going to play because locking out a skill forever is a big deal.

The fact it's a big deal is probably why Eidos Montreal dropped in Side Mission 04. Keep an eye out for this one - it will let you get a device that undoes the overloading effect. That said, if you're focused on the critical path you'll want to choose wisely as you may never do this.


Unable to hack something? Don't forget the Multi Tool

Hacking is a key skill in Deus Ex, and it costs quite a bit of Praxis to upgrade Adam's abilities to the maximum. It was a priority upgrade for me, but it certainly isn't for everyone.

That said, the rewards for hacking a particular computer or opening a particular door can often be high. If you have a character build that doesn't have maximum hacking ability, don't forget the multi-tool.

Multi tools are fairly limited but incredibly useful. Point a multi tool at a computer, door terminal or any other locked device and use it like a weapon. After a short wait, it'll do the hacking for you.

Multi tools can be found as loot, bought from stores or crafted for 120 crafting parts. Can't unlock a level 5 door? Use a multi tool!

These items are also vastly useful for hacking in a hurry when you're trying to stay out of sight.


Be sure to spend parts on crafting items

New to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a rudimentary crafting system. It's all pretty simple: a generic 'crafting parts' resource can be found out in the world. In the game menus there's a list of items these parts can be spent on to craft.

Loot is so broadly available and Adam's inventory so limited that it's easy to sleep on the crafting system and not use it much - but try not to! The crafting system is actually really useful, something I didn't realize until halfway through the game.

The number of items you can craft is fairly limited, but on the list are a number of incredibly useful items that aren't always common including multi tools for hacking, biocells for restoring battery and ammo for a number of the experimental augmentations.


You can go back on your story choices

Several times during Deus Ex: Mankind Divided the game will face you with a hard story choice to do one of two things. This is always presented to you as a problem in a cutscene, and then shown to you in the form of a conversation-style choice prompt.

You won't be able to proceed until you make one of these choices, but this actually doesn't lock you into that course of action.

If you open up your menu, you'll find both choices featured on your quests page, plus descriptions of what each will have you do. Whatever you initially chose will be set as the current quest, but you can easily switch objectives (and thus map waypoints) with a few button presses.

About the Author
Alex Donaldson avatar

Alex Donaldson

Assistant Editor

Alex started out his career in games media as an over-eager kid working on fan sites, and now has decades of experience. He's been with VG247 since 2016, and is the co-founder of genre-dedicated website RPG Site. A whisky nerd & Rams fan, he also collects arcade machines and Lego.

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